Football: Woodbury, East Ridge improve records with wins Friday night
Woodbury 24, Mounds View 7
Every game has its challenges a team has to face, but the hope is that they can overcome it and earn the win.
The Woodbury football team was faced with a challenge early in the game and relied on the defense to make sure that win was obtained.
The Royals defeated Mounds View on Friday night with a 24-7 final score after Woodbury had five turnovers throughout the game.
"We learned that you have to have short memories in football," said Woodbury head coach Andy Hill. "You can't think of the last mistake or turnover, but rather prepare for the next drive."
In the first quarter, the Royals got out to an early lead with a 43-yard touchdown pass from Jake Wenzel to Zach Ames. This made it 7-0 in the first, but the offense also allowed two turnovers on fumbles.
The Royals relied on their defense to come through and not allow any points to be scored. The defense did just that and kept that 7-0 lead with a key turnover.
Mounds View was pushing the ball at the goal line to try and tie the game up, but Woodbury's defense stepped up. Isaiah Walters came up the middle to stop the run and ended up grabbing the ball from the running back instead.
Walters found a lane and ran to about midfield before being tackled.
"That was a big turnover for our defense because it kept our lead and built more of a lead," Hill said.
The Woodbury offense came out after the turnover and went down the field until Wenzel put it into the end zone with a 3-yard touchdown rush. The score became 14-0 early in the second quarter.
The Royals tacked on one more touchdown before the first half completed as Wenzel found Ames once again for a 57-yard touchdown. Woodbury went into the half with a 21-0 lead.
In the second half, the defense allowed one touchdown as Mounds View scored in the third quarter to get the score within a two-touchdown margin.
The Woodbury offense made sure to reserve that lead by extending with the help of its kicker Cade Keesling. Keesling came out in the fourth quarter and knocked down a 31-yard field goal to make a 24-7 Royals lead.
"That field goal was huge because it gave us a three-touchdown lead," Hill said.
Hill hopes the team learned that it takes a team to win a football game and the team has to play together for the entire game.
He said there were times in the second half that Mounds View was trying to start some drives, but the defense would come in and shut them down. The ability to close out teams like that and in that fashion at home was a big step for this football team in Hill's eyes.
The Royals have their homecoming week next week as they take on Anoka at home next Friday night. Even though it's homecoming, Hill approaches the game like any other.
"We focus on the football game all week long," Hill said. "It's great to see the different activities at school all week, but we focus on winning a football game at the end of that homecoming week."
After homecoming week, the Royals will have three more football games in the regular season before playoffs begin, so the focus right now for Woodbury is to build that confidence and momentum heading into the end of the season.
East Ridge 24, Roseville 22
It was a back-and-forth game between East Ridge and Roseville. The Raptors scored first with a 50-yard touchdown pass from Zach Zebrowski to Simon Stark. Roseville made it a 6-3 game with a field goal, but Jack McKenzie connected on his own field goal at 22 yards to make it 9-3.
Once the second half started, the touchdowns went back-and-forth between the two teams. Zebrowski started the third quarter with a 12-yard touchdown to Patrick Lynott to make it a 15-3 lead.
Then, Roseville came back with a touchdown to make it a 15-9 game. Zebrowski used his legs this time and ran one in from four yards out to give East Ridge the 21-9 lead.
After the rushing touchdown, Roseville came back with two scores of its own making it a 22-21 lead for Roseville in the fourth quarter. The Raptors had the last laugh as McKenzie kicked a 27-yard field goal through the uprights and gave East Ridge the 24-22 lead and, eventually, the victory.
The win brings East Ridge's record to 3-1 on the season as the Raptors prepare for homecoming week next week and a tough opponent, Cretin-Derham Hall.
After homecoming week, the Raptors will travel to Mounds View and rival Woodbury before coming home to play Centennial to round out the regular season.
Mound Westonka 48, Academy Force 0
It was a tough night for Academy Force as Mound Westonka scored 21 points in the first quarter, seven points in the second quarter, 14 points in the third quarter and six points in the fourth quarter.
Academy Force will host Minneapolis Southwest next Saturday as the team seeks for its first win of the season. Academy Force has three more regular season games this season with two of them being home and the last game of the season being on the road against St. Paul Highland Park.